Back Check with the Bruins Buff

Monday, February 23, 2009

B's Drop Two in Florida

The Sunshine State wasn't kind to Boston over the weekend. The Bruins dropped two consecutive games during their roadtrip, bringing their Feburary record to a disappointing 2-2-4.

The Black and Gold started the trip against the Florida Panthers, a team fighting for its playoff life and not afraid to do some dirty work.

Florida goaltender Thomas Vokoun stood strong against the B's, shutting out the squad with more than 40 saves. Tim Thomas and his team couldn't withstand the Panthers grit and speed, losing 2-0 in regulation.

Boston went 0-6 on the power play, an area of its game that continues to suffer from the lack of a left-handed shot. It even enjoyed the luxury of two separate four-minute man advantages but still couldn't seal the deal.

Things didn't improve as the Bruins worked their way upstate to Tampa Bay. Manny Fernandez made an abysmal 14 saves as the B's fell to the Lightning 4-3 last night.

As Coach Claude Julien said in his post-game interview, the B's didn't lack effort. They fired more than 40 shots against rookie goaltender Karri Ramo, who put on a spectacular show for the Bolts.

Winger Phil Kessel finally broke out of his 12-game scoreless slump, potting a beaut in the first minutes of the game. Kessel currently has 25 goals on the season. Defensemen Zdeno Chara and Andrew Ference tallied Boston's other two goals.

But careless penalties and sluggish defense put the W further and further out of reach. A few softies from Fernandez didn't help the cause, either. All things considered, Boston shouldn't be losing to an injury-ridden team in the bottom of the standings.

The Bruins don't have long to change their gameplan against the two Florida squads. They face the Panthers tomorrow at home and the Lightning again at the end of March.


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